AquaMatrix International

Guiding Sustainable Aquaculture Development Worldwide

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International Aquaculture Development

Professional Objectives of AquaMatrix:

To guide sustainable fisheries development, worldwide.

* To provide aquaculture system expertise in optimum design, system troubleshooting, high density culture and closed system biofiltration.

* To provide management expertise in water quality and stock strategies, fish and prawn health strategies, hormone-induced spawning techniques, and disease diagnostics.

* To provide detailed aquaculture production analyses and complete business plans, including market entry analyses, processing requirements, and HACCP guidelines.

* To transfer appropriate technologies in a clear, understandable manner, in public and private sectors.

SilverCarpTanay.jpg StockingTerraces.jpg
Inspired by his US Peace Corps experience in the Philippines, Woiwode has a commitment to sustainable fisheries development, especially in regions that may have less obvious commercial potential but could have more tangible impact on local and regional people.

Representative Projects:

In Pakistan, on the Asian Development Bank Second Aquaculture Project, AquaMatrix executed the two largest contracts, providing the significant majority of man-days fielded.

Dr. Woiwode designed and oversaw the construction of eight Department of Fisheries hatcheries/ nurseries, and redesigned and retrofitted six existing hatcheries/nurseries for the intensive production of five species of Asiatic Carps. He trained hatchery personnel in intensive hatchery management techniques, including the use of anaesthesia when handling broodstock, introduction of new hormone-induced spawning protocols, high density incubation of eggs in upwelling jars, culture and nutritional enhancement of select zooplankton as feed for intensively tank-reared first-feeding fry, and the development of effective broodstock management techniques.
Dr. Woiwode set up 10 Model Fish Farms and 87 Demonstration Fish Farms throughout the Punjab. He published fourteen technical reports and training manuals during this period, including two reports published in Urdu.

Dr. Fairgrieve developed least-cost nutritional formulations utilizing indigenous ingredients; developed a small scale hammer mill and pelleting system to produce fish feeds; and guided the research activities of the Department of Fisheries in response to the critical needs of Pakistan's culture and capture fisheries industries.


The Intensive Asiatic Carp Hatchery and Nursery
in Farooqabad, Pakistan.


Dr. Woiwode meets with tribal elders of the Chebaysh Marsh Arabs
regarding the restoration of the fisheries
in the Al-Hammar marshlands, Iraq.


Husband and wife electro-fishing for Silurids in newly reflooded marshlands, Central Marsh, Iraq.

In 2004, Dr. Woiwode served as Aquaculture Team Leader under the USAID funded Marshland project in Iraq. The following is the abstract from the paper he delivered at the World Aquaculture Society meeting in Bali, Indonesia, May, 2005.

Iraq Aquaculture Supporting Capture Fisheries: Food Security for Marsh Arabs

Marshland fishing was a primary economic livelihood for low-status tribes, mainly the Berbera; subsistence fishing, however, has been practiced widely in the marshes, and fish products have been a primary food source. In 1990, the FAO estimated that the total inland catch of fish in Iraq was 23,600 tons, with over 60 percent of this coming from the Mesopotamian marshes. The native marshland fish populations were originally dominated by Cyprinid fish of the genus Barbus. Coastal fish species in the Arabian Gulf also used the marshlands for seasonal spawning migrations and as nursery grounds for both shrimp and fish. Fish were originally caught with tridents, but the Marsh Arabs also used nets, although the size of the net holes decreased as the catches decreased, catching younger and younger fish.
A combination of factors including upstream dams in Turkey and Syria, the Iran-Iraq War in the mid-1980s and the building of the drainage system in the 1990s diminished the flow of water and nutrients into the marshlands and led to a precipitous fall in fish catch. As the marshes were draining, some people used poisons to take the final fish remaining in the drying ponds. With the drying of the marshes, the commercial fish trade virtually ceased. The resultant situation caused a massive displacement of the indigenous Marsh Arab population.

Fish production increases will be achieved by reflooding the largest possible area and by keeping sluices open to maintain fish migration and spawning. Fishery diversity and productivity will take years to return, but there are encouraging signs that it can recover. With the reflooding of the Al-Hawizeh, Hammar, and Central Marshes, people have returned to their boats to fish, mostly with nylon gill nets and electric fishing sets. However, the catches in the newly flooded water were disappointing in species, number and size. The resumption of fishing appears to be causing over-fishing and depletion of fragile indigenous fish stocks, and a proliferation of undesirable species. New fishing practices have also raised issues of rights to marsh access.

Iraq Aquaculture
Aquaculture activities in Iraq were historically concentrated near Baghdad rather than the southern marshes. The main species cultured were grass and silver carps. USAID's Marshlands program sought to rehabilitate indigenous fish stocks with aquaculture technologies such as artificial propagation of Barbus spp. Husbandry of the Asiatic carps were proposed to be introduced to the Marsh Arabs as a form of enterprise development.

The overall fisheries program objectives were to: 1) Initiate restoration of the endemic Barbus sharpeyi in all three marsh areas by artificial spawning and stocking of cultured fingerlings into the marshlands; 2) Encourage the sustainable management of marshlands fish species by involving tribes to unhinder the reproductive migrations of indigenous fish stocks; 3) Develop institutional fish culture capacities; and 4) Develop pilot farms utilizing effective fish farming technologies of proven fish species (grass and silver carp) in suitable marsh locations.

LHRH and anaesthetizing agents have been brought into the country, Barbus sharpeyi broodstock have been collected for spawning, and training of fisheries personnel has been completed. Ovulation and spawning of Barbus sharpeyi have been accomplished.

As part of the U.S. - West African Free Trade Agreement, Dr. Woiwode guided commercial fishers and fish processing plants in three West African countries (Senegal, Gambia and Mauritania) toward U.S. FSIS sanitation and HACCP processing standards for product entry into the United States. As a result of this initiative, fish processors from these countries were represented at the U.S. seafood trade show in Boston, establishing trade links into the United States.


Artisanal Fishing Fleet, Nouakchott, Mauritania